The first time I heard about Sonia Rykiel was a long time ago in Spain but I did not know the woman behind the brand, she is a French fashion designer and a writer born from a Russian mother and Rumanian father. Her clothes are something I like but that I can’t afford. When I saw her cosmetics in Japan, I was so intrigued, did I miss something ? Why is her line not available to us outside of some Asian countries ? I sent “her” -or whoever is behind their website- an email, hopefully somebody will answer and shed some light on this mystery. Sonia Rykiel is now 84 years old, I have been watching some Youtube videos to learn a bit more about her and about her cosmetics but her range is pretty new so for now it’s hard to find reviews or any information. Just for fun, guess who I spotted in one video ? Check it out here and jump to 3:08
Her striped signature look reflects on all her packaging and even in the blushers. Since I discovered her face make-up products this summer, my compacts suddenly gremlined themselves at a scary speed. Some more *pops* to come in the upcoming days or weeks depending on how fast they will arrive but since I already have quite a few, I’ll start with those. I’ll share some swatches with you and tell you why I am loving them so very much, I have failed to resist their quality and prettiness and I am sure many of you will follow!
This is the result of my insanity, a lipstick, 2 eye palettes, 1 eye duo, 1 eyeliner, 1 mousse shadow, 1 brush, and loooots of blushers… I don’t love every single product I got as some don’t work for me but the ones that do, I have been using them every day and I don’t even bother using any other brand -ok, except for Ipsa, SK-II…. *looking at my vanity right now to see what I have been using recently… * I confirm, my routine involved these Sonia Rykiel every single day of the week.
I have labelled them for organization purposes, I was trying to write the number with a silver pen (see the second from the right) but then I decided to use the little labels, the compacts are all similar, the eyeshadow ones are thinner but the look is the same, when you have a few it gets messy finding the one you want if you are not organized.
But, it’s not because I love her products that you will necessarily love them too -or the other way round-, I don’t love the new Chanel quads and many do so… we all go for specific products with our variety of preferences and then there is age and skin and more… but if you can try her products, which is really not that easy, it’s worth having a closer look.
Last year I bought the 2 eyeshadow palettes shown here but did not use them much as I did find them too daring for a daily use… daring ? not if you skip the bottom right pan but I have a tendency to want to use all pans in a palette, tendency that I will now stop since, except for that bottom right pan, the other pans are office wearable, either translucent or shimmery -but not metallic- finish. Since I am now starting to use them more, I will be able to report back on them soon.
I will just share some swatches today and add a link to the excellent Kate’s post about two of her palettes and her description and swatches could not be more spot on!
I don’t have the applicators anymore…
They cost approx 55usd each -depending on where you buy them- , unfortunately there are no prices on their website but that gives you an idea on where they place themselves, expensive in my opinion for the amount of shadow you get, you get more product than in the new Chanel quads, 3.3g on the SR, 2g on the new Chanel, but still, that’s obviously a brand with a very high price tag.
They have 8 compacts to choose from, the 09 that I own is not in there lists anymore.
The swatches do not show how vibrant these colours are, if you click on the swatch pictures, the colors get (slightly) better but they still do not reflect their complexity.
The Duo I got (04) seduced me because of the vibrant burgundy plumish side, fantastic buttery texture that applies like opaque silk. The other side of the pan is filled with chunk of glitter, feels a bit gritty to the touch, the colour is pretty and interesting but you have to know that this one is volatile, you can still layer colour as a golden base if you build it up so that’s quite nice but it will fade as it will loose its sparkles, and those sparkles may transfer to the lower eye area. To most of Japanese girls, this will be applied quite generously, to me this remains just a lovely inner eye statement color or a gorgeous highlighter for special occasions, I’ll define this side as a glitter ball with some elegance and character. Shame it is not the other way round, I’d rather prefer a large burgundy side!
This duo is around 30usd – I could be wrong but there are no prices online and even though I kept the receipt, it’s in a non-reachable zone at the moment
There are 5 duos as you can see on the screen capture, I may need to remove these screen captures in the future (I asked them for their approval but I am waiting for their reply and that may take a while…), I just wanted to show you quickly the range available and link the screen captures to their website.
If you go to Japan and want to swatch test every single eyeshadow that is going to take you a while and if you don’t take notes you’ll forget (and you won’t be able to purchase every single thing you love)… I don’t remember how these all swatch but I wanted the darkest and less sparkly of the bunch and that’s why I left with the 04.
The Glowing Cream blushers
I apologize for the state of my cream blushers Used cream blushers are an awful thing to show on a picture They will never look appealing when the pans have been used BUT these are truly appealing, appealing to the very deep and dark side of *want* hmmm wait, NEED! so just ignore my fingertips or fibres or hair you could eventually spot in the pics. I cannot take pictures of the blushers when they are new because I just can’t wait till I get home and prepare the camera, I have no discipline but that’s fine, I have a bf to add some discipline in my life when and if I really really need it….
I was at the counter, swatching them (they looked quite new on the stand), then slow-motion re-swatching them (enjoying the moment), looking at my bf and telling him “These are good, these are so so so good” Trying to justify myself for wanting them all and trying to not feel bad about wanting them all… Since I had many things to take and a budget limitation, I took 02 and 04 but with the determination to take 01 and 03 at a later date, which I did, I received them this week.
The reason why they are so good is simple, because of their color pay-off, their texture, the way it makes my daily make-up routine so incredibly effortless and exciting.
The pic doesn’t show the glow but the glow is there and without stickiness to it! They add a colourful natural yet uncommon veil to your skin, so different from any other cream blush. It’s impossible to fail the application, you can build or you can diffuse them so easily! In terms of texture it is my fav ever, the colors too, the technique to use with them is the most effortless you could think of, either fingers of brushes, whatever you want. I apply number 04 with the Rae Morris 23 brush, as a very wide blush/bronzer application, I also use that brush with the other shades.
The 01 is very natural peachy pink but very light, if you have darker skin that one may not show up but it still can be layered and on my NW20-25 it shows really well.
I wear all of them on their own but sometimes I wear 04 more like a bronzer and then I add 02 on top in the centre and it looks divine, a perfect match. I am not sure it improves the appearance of my fine lines but I have the feeling it does, it smooths my skin and it does look younger and fresher. Maybe it’s more due to the colours that are all flattering on me or because I am so happy to wear them but they all look good on my dry skin, very good. When I mix 02 and 03 it’s also a heavenly match. I have never been ready so fast in the morning, it’s simply super easy and so far anything I experiment works!
The 02 is such a gorgeous coral-orange, it brightens my face but the way the light reflects on my skin is subtle and elegant, the 03 is a very special intense (blue?) pink, I am confused, don’t know why, but if I had to name that one I would give it the hottest name in the world.
Their scent is quite neutral, they smell like an after-sun moisturiser, it is not unpleasant.
When I rub my arm, a very strong rub after leaving them for a few minutes to set (they don’t really need set anyway) but they last quite well, you can see that they fade in an even way and that they leave a soft stain behind, they are not waterproof but for cream blushers they are amazing.
That is the sponge that comes with the cream blush, you are supposed to apply them with the orange side and blend with the white one. The white side looks less absorbent, I tried with a sponge and it was terrific but I apply them with a brush, I feel like I can layer them more precisely and easily.
The 4 are just drop dead gorgeous…
I am not going to take the pic of my cream blushers but I took some swatches just to give you a hint on the colours and how they compare to these Guerlain, Chanel, Kevin Aucoin, Tom Ford or Edward Bess. To me the texture of the SR are better, more easily blendable, less sticky, more lightweight, better lasting power. The SR cost approx 50usd.
- Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate 01
- SR 04
- chanel Affinité
- EB Island Rose
- SR 03
- Guerlain 01 Pink
- Chanel Revelation
- SR 01
- SR 02
- Kevin Aucoin Tansoleil Apricot
- Chanel Intonation
Instructions and specifications
I cannot locate all the boxes but at least two, they don’t seem to have exactly the same ingredients but the base ingredients look similar:
The Glowing Gel Blusher
There is just one thing that I don’t like about them, their scent. They smell a bit like plastic mixed with sanitizer and it doesn’t go away that easily, I think there is room for researching a slightly less plastic-y smell, the scent is not inviting. But calling them “gels” is appropriate, their texture is refreshing, they are bouncy, if you press the centre the sides move up The lasting power is amazing, it’s not waterproof lasting but I can’t complain at all. The finish is like skin, lightweight and silky, you don’t feel the make-up on your skin, although you smell something unnatural going on… They are less glowy than the cream blushers but they are not matte.
If they had more I would buy more… I don’t know if you can mix them but I do, usually wearing 03 and with 01 on top just for the perfect doll finish. Actually I love 01 on its own although it does disappear on the swatches, it has the particularity to even out my skintone, a bit like a foundation with a flattering peachy hue. That’s what I was doing with a Mac Cream Color base some years ago, I don’t remember the name of that one and it was LE but it was similar in colour and I used it on top of my foundation to add some peachy doll finish to the skin and I loved it!
The inside of the cap has a sponge coating to seal the case when closed and avoid drying of the product but make sure you close them really well, it would be sad to see them dry. After using them quite intensely I cannot see a dent but when you press, they revert back into place like a hard sponge, it’s solid and humid but I haven’t tried to heat them so don’t leave them in the sun or at high temperatures or they might melt ?!
The 01 has a peachy hue, 02 is a cool barbie pink, 03 is a warm red orange raspberry (? cannot even define that color), I think this is a mix of many pigments and when I heavy swatch it, I can even see some blueish hue in there!?
The lasting power is fantastic, after some heavy rubbing I still have nice visible stains:
They costs approx 30usd.
The Glowing Powder Blusher
These are interesting There is a strange combination of stripes in some of them but the blended result is gorgeous, I mean it, I am so sad that you cannot see in the swatches how the colour reflects the light! They are not shimmery, they are lightweight glowing blushers and you can moderately play with the stripes to get sheerer or heavier results. You can actually swatch every stripe, it has enough pigmentation for that, even the lightest stripe and you can see the green one in the swatch.
If instead of swirling the brush you want to play with the stripes, this has a con: I am sometimes fearing that my application will not be well balanced, that I did not swipe my brush the same way on both cheeks…. I am still working on that and figuring out the best way to work with them… but I did not had a problem so far, depending on how you swipe the brush when you pick up the product, it will show the stripe on the surface of the brush, I always tap the excess off and even with the strong red and pink here it works just well and do not have to correct anything. Sometimes instead or tapping the brush I press the surface of the brush against the back of my hand to dose and spread the product but this may come more from a fear than from a need… future will tell.
The brown coral is the blush I use to add dimension to the cheeks, the kind of summer glow I envy on fashion summer photo shoots, for me it’s here! Despite the brown stripes, this is more like a summer glow or a blush than a bronzer, reminds me of Mac MSF Refined but instead of the shine of the MSF, the SR 04 has more of a glow without sparkles.
At my age it is safer to use the Sonia Rykiel, it’s more elegant and subtle.
If you click on the swatches you should see a larger picture with better colours… on the left I swatched the strongest shade of each blush just to show you that the tone between the 01 and 02 is different, the 02 is more raspberry and the 01 more brick brown. I also tried to show you that the sheer stripes show pigmentation when swatched, and that is where most of the glow comes from.
I swatched these blushes with little brushes to see if I could show you better swatches and a more even application…
- Burberry Hydrangea pink
- RBR Florita
- SR 02
- Nars Exhibit A
- RBR Orpheline
- SR 01
They include flat fan style brushes inside the compacts, they have quite a generous surface for flat brushes but I don’t use them because they don’t pick the amount of product I want to apply so it takes me a bit longer but they are usable if you need them. You can even swipe them sideways if you want to accentuate the highlight stripes somewhere, but to me it’s a precision I don’t need as it doesn’t match my technique, hence I am better with flat round blush brushes.
The number 03 is missing here but it’s just popping his way out from Japan to me right now…
These are not exactly scientific “Directions for use” on the back of the box, although it’s not that simple I guess we can quite easily manage the application… For sure the blending is effortless but still, don’t forget to blend and polish because it will only look better!
The Highlight Powder
I got this one because lavender is a trend but I think I prefer the yellow one… oh, the yellow one is also popping his way out to me right now Soon I will be able to show you comparison swatches!
In the swatches you clearly see the lavender showing but if you apply it lightly it does not show lavender but mainly silvery shine. The texture is not gritty, the top of the pan has some micro sparkles, the bottom doesn’t, depending where you swipe your brush you may get more or less sparkles but still subtle enough, or if you swipe it at the bottom that will show more lavender, it works more in transparency where the Givenchy Moonlight Croisière has less sparkles/shine but the base colour is just slightly more opaque and has a whitish-beige base. That Croisière is a big huge love for me by the way, so fine and elegant!
These 3 highlighters are my fav, when I choose to wear highlighter it’s to balance a dull or subtle look and give it more oomph, if I already wear glowing products I would not bother adding much more glow to that… Also, I prefer to use highlighter when the base make-up application is flawless and I don’t really go for that on a daily basis, that means that at the end I don’t use highlighter very often or if I do, in a very controlled way.
The glow of the Sonia Rykiel is appealing but can be quite visible and sometimes appear strong, I realized that it looked much better under artificial lighting than in sunlight, maybe this is because the yellow is for the day and lavender for night ? Maybe it’s not who is wearing it but when ? I’d love to know If somebody has access to their counters and speaks Japanese… there is here an intriguing mission for you unless they reply to my emails… For the night, the SR 01 will be the one I’ll pick.
There is nothing written in English there… not even the ingredients! I think it’s around 55usd, sorry the prices are very approximate and on top of that it depends where you are going to purchase them!
The Mousse Eyeshadow
The colour looked interesting, I thought that a sparkling shadow that stays put with such a base would look gorgeous!
You can built it up, it will become more opaque but it feels gritty on my eyelids, is not ideal for ageing lids. The sparkles do not really stay put, they stay but part of them transfer to the bottom eye area so when I was wearing that on Friday I wasn’t feeling that comfortable. I applied this on the mobile lid and with black eyeliner, after just a few minutes my under eye area was full of tiny particles. Even if I wanted to use this as the inner glow you have to open it, since it’s liquidy, it’s a mess to use, you have to remove the flat plastic cap and as you see in the pic depending on how you stored the product it may slide out…
You have enough time to blend before it sets and you can layer it…
I will probably not use this one unless I find some other practical use… I thought of highlighter but the packaging is not making me want to try more… In a tube that would be more appropriate…
The Perfect Eyeliner
Yes for me it is the perfect eyeliner! It’s probably the first time that a product promising name matches the expectations it promises!
It’s fine, creamy but firm enough to be controlled with a lot of precision, for those who want precision around the lashline it will be ideal. You have a little time to blend it before it sets, it applies evenly effortlessly and the brown here is spot on! not too dark, not too sheer, not too matte, not too shimmery, perfect! The staying power is very good too, I cannot find bad things to say about it. On the website they say they won the second prize in 2013 in the category but I could not find who were number 1, because if that is number 2, please introduce me now to number 1 !!!
Shades 04 and 05 are popping too and will be with me maybe next week … crossing fingers
Always looking for the perfect brown eyeliner but I found it in the SR
The Shu Uemura is also terrific but less complex, the only issue is that it is not as precise as the SR and when you want to use it to tightline you may make a mess that will be tough to correct since those apply like tattoos…
- Lancome In love Chocolate Affair
- Tom Ford Mettalic Mink
- Nars Via Appia
- Chanel Marron Glacé
- Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil M Dark Brown
- Sonia Rykiel 03
After using strong makeup remover the Shu is the strongest, followed by the SR… as the stains confirm!!
Ingredients and details
Lipstick Mat Sublime Rouge
I only got one lipstick but sure I wanted more, I did not know which ones to take since I loved many but since I preferred the face products I just picked 1 lippie from the new matte range.
I selected the matte 07, which is very similar to the coraly Mac Fanfare that is my go to or the Edward Bess Night Orchid. The SR is more opaque, I did two swatches of each lipstick, the one on the right is 1 swipe, on the left is 2 swipes. You can see that the SR is really thick and not a dull matte at all. Only issue is that I found it a bit drying on my lips in comparison to the others, I feel the need to add some topping … but the colour is stunning and very wearable!
The face brush
Sometimes even if the brush does not completely appeal to me, I get it to be able to use it with the products from the same brand, I love to believe that the conception has been studied to work well with the line.
This is the face brush that is meant to be used with their powder and the blushes, it’s 18cm total length, the head is 3.5cm long (that’s the perfect length for me), base of ferrule 2.5cm, it is super dense and costs approx 40usd. They are made in Japan but I don’t know where or by whom, the handle is probably machine made because on the sides you can see where it has been moulded together and it feels like plastic. In terms of balance and usage it’s wonderful, in terms of quality hmhm, it’s not pokey but is a bit rough on the skin and delicate skins will not adore it but since it gets the job done so fast and brilliantly at least you won’t have to insist!
Makes me think of the RBR or the Louise Young or even the Charlotte Tilbury, similar type of brushes, effortless to use but not the softest. The SR is denser and more directional. The softer from the bunch is the RBR, then the SR, then the CT, then the LY and the Mac.
I don’t know what material this is, feels like thick synthetic bristles, it even feels like the top of the hair has been cut and trimmed into shape so not that fond of that but it does the job.
I hope this gave you an overview of her line, what you can expect from her and if you are planning to go to Japan, you should have a closer look, definitely.
In every brand there are hits and misses, the liner and the face blushers are my favs, I am very demanding and I did not expected to be blown away like that, glad it happened! Makes my daily make-up routine exciting and effortless!
I have been given some skincare samples and I am trying those too, see if I find something surprising that can work on my very dry skin
Her products can be bought in Japan in several places like Isetan shopping center, click here for the whole list of stores. I use also Ichibankao.com or bringbling.blogspot.com to purchase them but if you want to avoid a price markup you better get them while you are over!
If you have tried them or are considering trying them, let me know what you think of them!